At the Diplomat I take a look at what folks are calling the “arsenal plane:”
The U.S. Air Force has begun to move forward with testing of its “arsenal plane” concept. In January, an MC-130 special operations transport dropped two pallets of air-to-ground munitions off of its cargo ramp in a proof-of-concept demonstration. If the concept proves workable, it could vastly expand the number of aircraft that the Air Force could use to deploy stand-off weaponry, a key priority for cracking China’s A2/AD system of systems. As Joseph Trevithick and Tyler Rogoway detail at The Drive, the Air Force testing thus far has concentrated on air-to-ground munitions, mostly because air-to-air munitions are more complex and may need to be mounted on external pylons. The munitions dropped in the test go by the charming acronym “CLEAVER” (Cargo Launch Expendable Air Vehicles with Extended Range), although the specifics of their range and payload remain uncertain.
Also I am fucking HUGE in Colombia.